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Five female technoheroes you might never have heard of…

Can you guess whom we chose for our #IWD2019 technoheroes? There are hints in the image...

Today is International Women’s Day 2019.

In the leadup, a bunch of people – friends, family, colleagues and you, our readers – asked us whom we’d count amongst our female technoheroes, so we thought we’d tell you.

We know what you’re thinking, which is probably along the lines of, “They’re bound to mention Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, and they love their old-school computing stories so Ada, Countess of Lovelace will get a look in for sure.”

And you can’t really talk about science and technology without bringing Marie Curie into the story…

…and if you’re looking for someone who isn’t a technologist, but has been buffeted from pillar to post by technology and bureaucrats while showing incredible grace under pressure, you might be hoping for a left field answer such as Caster Semenya OIB.

Are those four of our five #IWD2019 heroes?

One thing’s for sure, all our technoheroes made us say, “Wish I’d thought of that, wish I’d done that, wish I’d had the guts to try that.”

Watch now and find out whom we chose! (Yes, the image above contains a series of hints.)

(No video? Watch on YouTube.)


I must admit, given the hints I only was able to guess Amelia Earhart and subsequently resist the temptation to Google/refresh in my brain Rosalind Franklin. I was wondering how much the teaser text would allow the blurring of definitions in this context (Amelia was certifiably brave and amazing, but more adventurer/pioneer than scientist/technologist). I knew I’d recognize Rosalind’s name once I saw it, but couldn’t coax it out of my old wetware EPROM without your video.
Great article, and five great stories; thanks Duck!


Glad you enjoyed it! FWIW, there’s perhaps more to the aeroplane hint than you read into it – those elliptical wings are meant to denote Supermarine Spitfire.


> more to the hint than [Bryan] read into it

Well, I can certify that this is the first ever time THAT’S happened.


Hi Duck, If you are genuinely interested in X-Ray crystallography, then Diamond Light Source is about 15 miles away from Sophos on the Harwell campus, and they have open days.


I went there on an educational trip many years ago…

…should definitely go there again. Since moving back to the UK I have only ever passed by the campus. Thanks for the suggestion!


Just watched the documentary “Bombshell” about Hedy Lamarr, who invented frequency hopping for secret communications, which now is apparently used in wi-fi and other computer communications technology.


I was surprised at *not* seeing Hedy Lamarr noted in this article. Perhaps she is mentioned in the video..? I won’t know until I get home where I can watch it. I’m sure it will be worth the wait!

Duck: I actually did notice the wing shape but – like Bryan – didn’t think of Amelia Earhart as a technology figure.


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